Review: Cadillac ATS Coupe
Cadillachas upped its coupe game with the new ATS-4. Our tester, the 2.0 liter turbo variant, makes 14 percent more torque than last year's model and 10 percent more than the V6 version. True to its lineage, this Caddy delivers a smooth ride and loves an open road.
The relatively new2.0 liter turbocharged-four engine delivers exceptional low-end throttle response andacceleration capabilities. 0-60 mph (96 km/h) times are respectable at5.6 seconds and thanks to the tight 8-speed gearbox, power feels direct and accessible. Some of the tech responsible for thepower benefits include GM's iECOTEC I-4, VVT (Variable ValveTiming) and iDirect gasoline injection.
The all-wheel drive ATS achieves 272 hp at 5500 rpm and 295 lb.ft. of torque at 3000-4600rpm. That's a torque increase of 14 percent over last year's model,which is most welcome, given the 2016 Coupe tips the scales at 1,550kg (3,418 lb).
Compared to GM's V6, theturbo-4 spews out an oddly uncharacteristic buzzy exhaustnote. The aural anomaly takes a bit of getting used to but it soonbecomes clear the 2.0 liter not only provides a lighter load than the3.6 liter V6, but produces more torque, at lower rpm than the V6's275 lb.ft. Check one for the engineers.
The nicely dialed in dampers and responsive mid-range hustle provided confidence, speed and poise as we blasted through the chaos of a morning commute. Paddle shifters, seemingly a necessity on any new sporty ride, helped deliver power as needed.
Design-wise this is a car that looks better in person than it shoots. Up close, the its angular design language is unmistakable but when you bring it through a lens the lines become more sculpted and subtle, resulting in the Coupe's expressive nature being tamed.
In addition to itsshape-shifting trickery in front of the camera, the car getssmaller as you drive it. Many manyyears ago I heard those words used to describe Ferrari's front-engined 612 Scaglietti. Asreluctant as I am to draw such a comparison, the 15.25 ft (4.66 m)-long coupe did seem to get smaller the more I drove it. The sign of a tightly designed package.
Out back and on profile, theATS-4 takes on the feel of a BMW 6-series with its slightly raisedtrunk and spoiler. The cabin line from the A to the C-pillar remainsunmistakably Cadillac.
The headlights sweep up andback in tight formation as per Cadillac's ongoing frontal designtreatment. Compared to its more powerful sibling, the ATS-V, the AWDCoupe sports a larger grille and can go without the V's snorkly powerhump as a result of its lesser cooling needs.
Inside the Coupe, space is astight as it looks. Backseat time would be a less than ideal venture for larger personson extended journeys, but driver's seat time on the other hand, is nothing if not comfortable.
Accoutrements and finishingare on par with what we've come to expect from Cadillac. Even thoughthe ATS sports a high waistline, visibility remains good for themost part with the slight exception of the C-pillar when checkingblind spots – though the car's side blind zone alert and rear cross-traffic alert safety features certainly help in this regard.
Haptic touch controls andconsole buttons have been carried over from 2015 model, but withbetter response and feel. This is especially true when it comes tointerfacing with the 8-inch color information display. Swipe and touchresponse are reliable and instantaneous.
OurATS Coupe was equipped with 4G LTE (2) connectivity, Wi-Fi, Sirius SAT radio and quality audio outputs by BOSE.
And although the trunk appearssmall I still managed to squeeze in two full sized suitcases into thetight space ... thanks in part to my years of Tetris and acute spatialabilities. The split folding rear seat means golf clubs and longishthings from IKEA can also come for a ride-along should the needarise.
The 2.0 liter Turbo AWD ATS Coupe is priced at around US$45,000, butting heads with Audi's A4, BMW's 4series, Lexus' IS series and Infiniti's Q60 Coupe. A crowdedmarket, to be sure, but for those seeking something from a domesticmarquee that's quick, stylish and comes with AWD abilities then theATS 4 deserves serious consideration.
Product page: Cadillac